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Warriors' booters roll on

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IL boys down Buford in AA Upstate playoffs

By Robert Howey

INDIAN LAND – Fifth-ranked Indian Land continued to roll in the Class AA Upper State soccer playoffs on Thursday night.

The Warriors, seeded second in the Class AA Upper State field, decked Buford, 8-2 to advance to the third round.

The Warriors, 19-4, opened the single-elimination playoffs, taking a 10-1 win over Columbia.

The Indian Land boys’ six-goal win advanced IL to a third-round clash with  Emerald High School, which defeated Batesburg-Leesville, 2-0 on Friday night in Greenwood.

The Warriors built a 5-1 lead on the Jackets on the way to the second-round victory Thursday night.

Nick Outen, the Warriors’ top scorer who is headed to play at the University of South Carolina Lancaster, broke on top with the first of his four goals, with Nick Retter providing the assist.

Retter, with a Michael Rodriguez assist, gave Indian Land a 2-0 spread.

Outen tallied his second goal, with an assist from Retter, to push IL ahead, 3-0.

Jordan Szustwal gave IL a 4-0 edge after getting an assist from Retter.

Outen converted his third goal of the half to send the Warriors, up 5-0, with Retter providing the assist.

The Jackets’ Donovan Lang scored and Andrew Ellis added the assist to make it 5-1 at the break.

“Our formation continues to work for us,” IL coach Adam Cole said. “We played well together and we had a lot of depth on the field and on the bench.”

“This group has really come together and is playing well for us,” IL assistant coach Gary Smith said.

The Warriors quickly quelled any Jackets’ comeback hopes as the IL squad tallied two quick goals to open the half.

Outen, with Retter assisting, made it 6-1 and Eric Sandor, off an Outen assist, made it a 7-1 spread.

The Warriors’ final goal came on a well-executed corner kick as Jayce Cooney had a corner which Drew Richardson headed in for an 8-1 lead.

McKinney tallied on a breakaway to make it, 8-2.

“We played our hearts out and played to the end,” Buford coach John Bundy said. “Indian Land has a strong team which has gotten stronger over the course of the season.

“We hate to see our season end, but we had a good season and we feel it’s one to build on.”

The Jackets, who defeated Strom Thurmond, 3-1 in their playoff opener, finished 7-10 on the season.

GHS Indians edge Vols

The Andrew Jackson Vols gave it a solid shot, but fell to top-rated Gilbert, the defending Class AA Upper State champion, in the second round of the Class AA Upper State playoffs on Thursday night.

AJ played well, but Gilbert, 21-2-0, was able to win the match, 2-0.

The first half was another hard-fought defensive battle, but with nine minutes left in the half, Jose Cedillo scored Gilbert’s first goal and it was 1-0 at halftime.

It remained that way until with 18 minutes left in the tight match, De Los Reyes scored Gilbert’s second  goal.

From that point on, AJ applied much offensive pressure in an attempt to score and hopefully tie the match, but was not able to do so.

For the match, Gilbert had 16 shots at goal, 10 corners and three indirects.

AJ had seven shots at goal, four corners and two indirects.

AJ’s Ryan Burgess had 10 saves in goal, including two amazing stops.

AJ finished the season with a 9-10-4 record.

 The Volunteers opened their playoff run, notching a 2-1 road win over Palmetto High of Williamston.